Cairo: A Saudi man has pardoned another convicted of murdering his son prior to his execution that was due on Monday, Saudi media reported.
Mutair Al Atawy’s decision was announced just prior to the execution of the convict at a designated site in Tabuk in northern Saudi Arabia, after a final death ruling had been issued against the killer in retribution.
Al Atawy had earlier rebuffed repeated offers for pardon.
“The killer’s family had offered me large sums of money and left no stone unturned in order to make me pardon him, but I kept refusing,” he told Saudi news portal Akhbar24. But what made him change his mind?
“At the execution site and prior to the enforcement of the [death] ruling, God bestowed on me placidity and sympathy. So I decided to pardon (him) for God’s sake,” he explained.
The murder happened around five years ago in Tabuk during a brawl between the convict and Al Atawy’s son. Neither the victim’s age nor the murderer’s was given.
The victim’s brother told Saudi state television Al Ekhbariya that his father had originally no intention for pardon despite intercession efforts from local tribesmen.
But in a humanitarian about-face, his father announced the pardon when the executioner raised the sword to carry out the execution, the brother added. “Pardon is for God Almighty,” he quoted his father as saying.
Forgiveness and pardon is a major recommended virtue in Islam. In the Holy Quran, God urges Muslims to show forgiveness and graciousness towards others, including non-Muslims.
In the same vein, the Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon Him) underlined forgiveness, pointing out that the act elevates the forgiver’s status and reward.