JEDDAH: A convicted killer was “pardoned” by the Saudi father of his victim on Monday morning, minutes before he was due to be executed.
Awad Suleiman Al-Amrani from Tabuk in northwestern Saudi Arabia, whose son was killed in a brawl four years ago, stipulated that neither the killer nor his family should celebrate the forgiveness. He also said that the family should not attempt to raise money from donors or attend any events that might be organized as a result of the waiver.
He did not demand any blood money in compensation for his son’s death, and so the killer will be released.
As news of the pardon spread on social media, Al-Amrani was praised for his forgiving nature. In appreciation of his “noble” gesture, some Twitter users posted Qur’anic verse 40 of surah Al-Shura, which says: “The recompense for an injury is an injury equal thereto (in degree): But if a person forgives and makes reconciliation, his reward is due from Allah: For (Allah) loveth not those who do wrong.”
Others said that Al-Amrani’s decision was in keeping with the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad, who said: “Whosoever introduces a good practice in Islam, there is for him its reward and the reward of those who act upon it after him without anything being diminished from their rewards.”
In a message posted on Twitter, Saudi citizen Bandar Al-Atwi wrote: “The father has gained a promise from the Almighty to reward him for his noble act.” Quoting verse 32 of surah Al-Maidah, he added: “If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people.”
Waleed Khaled Darraj, a lawyer in Jeddah, told Arab News that the freed man and his family must adhere to the demands and conditions set by the victim’s father.
“If written and approved by the court, all that the father has requested should be followed, otherwise the waiver becomes invalid and the victim’s family has the right to demand beheading,” he said.
He said that while executions are permitted under Shariah as a deterrent to safeguard lives and preserve the human soul, Islam also urges its followers to forgive whenever possible.
“Islam also teaches its followers to show tolerance,” said Darraj. “It also instructs them to avoid anger, which in many cases leads to unwanted consequences.
“When such a crime happens, beheading the killer, demanding blood money is the right of the victim’s family. However, some noble people just forgive without requesting a penny. These people seek what Allah has promised the forgivers.”
In some cases in the Gulf region, the families of murder victims have asked for millions of riyals in return for forgiving the killers.
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