Muslim father forgives his 22-year-old son’s murderer in USA, stating it’s due to Islam’s teachings on forgiveness

What would you have done if someone killed your son? Would you have forgiven the murderer? Well, that’s exactly what a Muslim father did as his son who was stabbed to death when he was delivering pizza.


Before Trey Alexander Relford was sentenced Tuesday to 31 years in prison for the 2015 stabbing death of a Pizza Hut delivery driver, the victim’s father forgave him during an extraordinary hearing.

Later, Relford and the victim’s father, Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud, hugged as an astonished courtroom audience watched and some were put to tears including the judge.


The elder Jitmoud said during the hearing, which lasted almost three hours,

“Forgiveness is the greatest gift of charity in Islam.”

This is what Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said regarding forgivnesss in Musnad Ahmed 7001,

”Be merciful to others and you will receive mercy. Forgive others and Allah will forgive you.”

Relford, 24, pleaded guilty last month to complicity to murder, complicity to robbery and attempted tampering with evidence in the stabbing death of Salahuddin Jitmoud, 22.

Salahuddin Jitmoud’s Facebook profile in 2014.

Had Relford been convicted at trial, he could have faced the death penalty.

Jitmoud was Muslim, and his death shook Lexington’s Muslim residents, who feared that it was a hate crime.

Prosecutors, defense attorneys and Lexington Police Chief Mark Barnard, who attended the hearing, said it was highly unusual for the family of a slaying victim to extend forgiveness to a defendant. Public defender Shannon Brooks-English said,

“Out of something that is so tragic, there is really something beautiful here that is beyond really all of us.”

“It’s a testament to Salahuddin that his family is able to forgive,” said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kathy Phillips.

Salahuddin Jitmoud, shown here in a 2014 photo from his Facebook page, was stabbed to death in Lexington while delivering Pizza Hut pizzas.

Jitmoud, who now lives in Thailand, addressed Relford directly and said, “I’m not angry at you.”

“I’m angry at the devil, I blame the devil, who misguided you to do such a horrible crime.”

Then, as a transfixed courtoom audience listened, Jitmoud told Relford:

“I forgive you on behalf of Salahuddin and his mother.”

Salahuddin’s mother, Jamilah Linda Kay Kolocotronis Jitmoud, died in 2013, before Salahuddin was killed.

After Jitmoud gave his statement, Fayette Circuit Judge Kimberly Bunnell wiped a tear and called for a break in the hearing.



When the hearing resumed, Relford’s mother, Gail Coote Bird, was called to the witness stand. After giving some history about her son, including his descent into drugs, she directly addressed the Jitmoud family.

She acknowledged that the Jitmouds had agreed to a plea deal that allowed her son to avoid a possible death sentence. Bird said,

“I am deeply sorry for your loss, I thank you so much for comforting me and my family.”

When asked whether he had a statement to make before sentencing, Relford stood and addressed Jitmoud’s father.


“I’m sorry about what happened that day,” Relford said, wiping his eyes on the collar of his orange jail uniform.

“I do applaud you because it takes a powerful man to know that someone has hurt them and to get up there and say what you just said. I can’t imagine the hurt, the pain. There’s nothing I can do … I thank you for your forgiveness.”

Sombat Jitmoud stood, took a step or two toward Relford, and extended his hand to offer a tissue. Then the two shook hands, and before long the handshake became a full-fledged hug. Sobbing members of the Relford and Jitmoud families joined in a brief group hug.


Bunnell sentenced Relford to 31 years in prison.


One thought on “Muslim father forgives his 22-year-old son’s murderer in USA, stating it’s due to Islam’s teachings on forgiveness

  1. There is beauty and nobleness in this story but also inaccuracy . The beauty of forgiving one that has killed a member of your family, an extremely hard act to perform, it takes a noble heart to reach this high standard. There is nobleness too in it, the opposite of rage and hate, very few van find that in their hearts. As Christians this is our goal as commanded by our Lord and Savior: “Forgive one another” and “Love your enemy” as written for us to follow (Romans 12: 9-10, 1 Pet 2:17, Matt 5:44, Luke 6:27, 35). It is this that sets apart Christianity from the rest. There is no higher standard than this. And it’s extremely hard yet possible. Christians suffered enormously from the Muslim armies. They were conquered by the force of Muhammad’s army and converted by the force of weapons and killing. During centuries those that escaped the first wave of killing, were forced into dhimminess and eventually had no choice but to convert to Islam. Islam also didn’t stop at killing Christians and forcing them into submission to Islam in Middle East but sent it’s armies into Europe. Yet, God intervened to save Europe and now Europe has become a refuge for those fleeing Islam. Not a single Syrian, Iraqi, Iranian, etc, went to another Islamic country, but all chose Christian Europe for refuge. They should be thankful that God didn’t allowed the expansion of Islam in Europe, as they wouldn’t have a place of refuge now. In Europe they were allowed to build mosques (Christians are not allowed to build churches in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere the churches are bombed ) they were allowed to worship Allah that has caused Christians so much bloodshed and suffering. Anyway, coming back to this story I have to add that there is also inaccuracies. There is no verse about forgiveness in Qur’an. That is why Hadith is quoted. The word “Love” is missing too. Couldn’t find it. There is no story in Qur’an such as described in John 8:1-11, there is no “Love your enemy”. If I’m wrong, I would like to be told the Surah where I can read it. The Qur’an shows that Jesus is more than a regular human being like the rest of us. The Qur’an tells us that Jesus was born of a virgin. That means that his mother is human, but….who is the Father if she was a virgin? The Bible completes the puzzle and tells us plainly that his Father was God Himself. God, transferred Jesus’s life from his natural realm into Marriam’s womb and he became a man. Not a normal man but a PERFECT man like Adam was before he sinned. As a PERFECT man he was able to pay back the price that God wanted to bring back the balance of Justice: A PERFECT man, for a PERFECT man. Jesus for Adam. Thus, he paid the price for ALL humanity. We aren’t perfect and none of us could have paid that price. Only Jesus was and he did. For that, God Yahweh gave him the Earth as a reward for his suffering. And now, he, Jesus is waiting in Heaven at the right hand of God to fulfil the phase 2 of Salvation plan: Brining on Earth God’s righteousness. We, Christians who know that Jesus will bring God’s Kingdom on Earth, wait patiently for that. Meanwhile Satan is trying to destroy and discredit Jesus’s merit. Satan is trying to destroy Christianity from within and without with various means. But, God will not allow that. Just like He intervened to save Europe, He will intervene to save the embryonic kingdom representing the real Kingdom….. which is about to come.


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