A father who forgave his son's murderer in the United States was awarded the inaugural 'Compassionate Icon' award in Malaysia yesterday, 19 December
According to New Straits Times, Abdul-Munim Sombat Jitmoud is the first recipient of this Malaysian compassionate award, which is also known as Rahmatan Lil Alamin Icon.
Religious Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mujahid Yusof handed the inaugural award to Abdul-Munim at the Putrajaya Islamic Complex yesterday.
Abdul-Munim's son was murdered by 24-year-old Trey Alexander Relford in Lexington, Kentucky on 19 April 2015
However, Abdul-Munim stunned everyone in the court, including judge Kimberly Bunnell, when he told Relford that he forgave him and proceeded to embrace Relford
Speaking at the event yesterday, Abdul-Munim explained that he got the strength to forgive Relford from Allah
"(Actor) Morgan Freeman has asked me the same thing. Allah says in the Quran whoever forgives His servant who is a Muslim or not yet a Muslim, He will forgive us," New Straits Times quoted Abdul-Munim as saying.
"So I told my five sons, this is a golden opportunity for us to forgive the man (Relford) so that he can have a second chance to know Allah better since he has been misguided by Shaitan (the devil)."
He also prayed that Malaysia will be the centre of goodness, and he contended it will only become a reality only if everyone starts from themselves
"I look at myself and at what I have done to change myself. We have to work with ourselves first and from there we work with our family," Abdul-Munim said.
"We have to be more merciful to anyone that is alive and not be wasteful. We have to be mindful of the environment," he said.
Abdul-Munim added that more efforts are needed to be in place to create a ripple effect to touch the lives of many.
When honouring the award, Mujahid said Abdul-Munim displayed the true meaning of compassion
"Similar spirit of compassion has become the government policy nowadays," said the minister, before presenting a similar award to a retired Islamic school principal who worked in the US for over three decades.