Sanctity of the lives of non-Muslims
Islam has declared the life of a human being as sacred. In the Holy Quran, Almighty Allah has prohibited killing anyone without a valid reason. The Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) has declared murdering someone the greatest sin after ascribing partners to Allah and disobeying one’s parents.
The way, murder of a Muslim is prohibited, in the same way murder of a non-Muslim is also prohibited. There is a Hadith in Sunan Kubra:
عن عمرو بن الحمق قال : سمعت رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم يقول: ايما رجل امن رجلا علي دمه ثم قتله ، فانا برئ من القاتل وان كان المقتول كافرا.
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat ‘Amr bin Al Hamaq (May Allah be well pleased with him), he says: I heard the Holy Prophet (Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam) say: Whoever assures a person about the safety of his (or her) life and then murders him, then beware, the murderer has no relation with me! Even if the victim is a non-Muslim.
If a Muslim murders a non-Muslim, then under Islamic Law, that person will also be executed, as Islamic Laws are not discriminatory. There is a Hadith in Sunan Kubra:
عن أبى الجنوب الاسدي قال اتى على بن أبى طالب رضى الله عنه برجل من المسلمين قتل رجلا من اهل الذمة قال فقامت عليه البينة فأمر بقتله فجاء اخوه فقال انى قد عفوت قال فلعلهم هددوك وفرقوك وفزعوك قال لا ولكن قتله لايرد على اخى وعوضونى فرضيت قال انت اعلم من كان له ذمتنا فدمه كدمنا وديته كديتنا
Translation: Hadhrat Abu Junoob Asadi (May Allah be well pleased with him) says that a Muslim was presented before Hadhrat ‘Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him) who had killed a non-Muslim with whom there was an agreement of peace. The narrator says that when evidence was presented that this Muslim had killed the non-Muslim, Hadhrat ‘Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him) ordered this Muslim to be executed. Then the victim’s brother came and said: Don’t kill him! I have forgiven him! On this, Hadhrat ‘Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him) said: Maybe that these people have threatened and terrorized you? He said: No. They have murdered my brother. Now, I can’t get my brother back. They have offered me blood money and I have accepted it. Then Hadhrat ‘Ali (May Allah be well pleased with him) told the non-Muslim: You know very well that for a person who is under our protection, his life also has the same sanctity that ours has and his blood money is equal to our blood money.
A similar incident had occurred in the caliphate of Hadhrat ‘Umar Farooq (May Allah be well pleased with him) as mentioned in Musannaf ‘Abdur Razzaaq:
عن إبراهيم أن رجلا مسلما قتل رجلا من أهل الذمة من أهل الحيرة فأقاد منه عمر
Translation: It is narrated on the authority of Hadhrat Ibraheem (May Allah be well pleased with him) that a Muslim murdered a person from the clan of “Heerah” with whom there was agreement of peace. Hadhrat ‘Umar (May Allah be well pleased with him) ordered that person to be executed.