04-06-2018
Power of mercy: When a Kerala mom forgave her son's killer for another woman's sake

newsimageMuharam killed Asif by slitting his throat in his sleep, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced Muharam to death. A murder. An accused. And two women who reached out to each other to heal a raw wound. Reminiscent of the 2004 Malayalam film Perumazhakkalam, this story on the quality of mercy will move the hardest of hearts. When Razia Muhram, a mother of three children, embarked on a train journey from Uttar Pradesh to Kerala, she was not very confident on saving her husband's life. “I was clueless about what would happen. But I was ready to kneel and beg for my husband’s life,” Razia told TNM. “But it seems, the Almighty was with me and my family. The Almighty made that mother pardon my husband,” Razia added. Razia’s husband, Muharam Ali, had murdered 24-year-old Asif, son of 61-year-old Ayeesha Beevi from Kerala, in Saudi Arabia around six years ago. Muharam and Asif were working at a fuel station in Al Hassa area in Saudi Arabia. They were friends and shared a room. But one night, Muharam killed Asif by slitting his throat in his sleep. Subsequently, he was arrested and jailed. The Saudi Arabian court sentenced Muharam to death. However, a few days later, Muharam started showing signs of mental instability. So, the execution was postponed. However, a few months ago, when the Saudi medics declared that Muharam was mentally fit to be executed, the situation changed. That's when Razia knew that Ayeesha Beevi was her last resort. The Al Hassa chapter of Kerala Muslim Cultural Centre (KMCC), a voluntary organisation, was working to get justice for Asif's family. KMCC former secretary Kunhalassan Kutty told TNM that the two were working together, staying together and that there was no enmity between them. “Moreover, the accused didn’t escape after the crime and slept in the room. Seeing his mental state, the Saudi police urged us to mediate to help Muharam, who has two daughters of marriageable age and a young son. Following discussions, Asif's mother and relatives agreed to pardon the accused,” Kunhalassan said. According to Kunhalassan, no blood money was demanded. “Asif's family doesn’t even have a house. But they were kind enough to pardon Muharam," Kunhalassan said. Following discussions, Razia and her relatives met Asif's mother and other relatives and sought their pardon. Ayesha Beevi, mother of Asif, tried to console Razia who had fallen at her feet seeking pardon for her husband, Muharam. "Allah has called my son early. That is his fate. (Taking) Another life will not bring back my child. At least let them live happily. He has two daughters to get married off," Ayesha told TNM. The moments left everyone emotional as Razia fell at the feet of Ayeesha, urging her to pardon her jailed husband. "In this holy month of Ramzan, I pardon him unconditionally," Ayeesha said, and signed the pardon letter in the presence of Indian Union Muslim League leader Panakkad Hyder Ali Thangal's son Sadiq Ali Thangal. According to Kunhalassan, the letter was sent to Dammam and has been submitted in the court. “Soon, he will enjoy freedom,” Kunhalassan added. Meanwhile, when TNM called Razia, she was eagerly waiting for her husband’s arrival. “I don’t know how to thank that mother. Thanks to the Almighty,” she added. According to a Parliament document, as many as 7,850 Indians are lodged in jails abroad, with the highest number of over 2,000 Indian nationals in prisons in Saudi Arabia. In a written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh had said that due to strong privacy laws prevailing in many countries, the local authorities do not share information on prisoners unless the person concerned consents to the disclosure of such information. "As per the information available with the ministry, the number of Indian prisoners in foreign jails is 7,850 and the number of Indians who have completed their jail terms is 360 as of 28.02.2018," he said. Saudi Arabia has the maximum number of 2,181 Indian prisoners followed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with 1,628