If the transgression is committed against an individual’s rights, Allah will not accept the repentance of the perpetrators until due compensation has been made.
Muslim scholars differ regarding the requirements for repentance for stealing alcohol from a Dhimmi (non-Muslim citizen in the Muslim state). The Shafi`i and Hanbali jurists opine that a Muslim is only answerable for indiscretions within the framework of the Islamic Shari`ah. Subsequently the Muslim is not required to compensate or repay for the bottle of alcohol he has stolen or broken (because alcohol is forbidden in Islam). On the other hand, the Hanbali and Maliki jurists say that a Muslim must compensate for the goods he has broken or stolen from a Dhimmi. This opinion has been adopted by Sheikh Faysal Mawlawi, deputy chairman of the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He states:
It was unanimously agreed by Muslim scholars that a non-Muslim should be punished if he steals from another non-Muslim because the individual’s money is protected by the state. And, according to the majority of Muslim scholars, the Muslim is also liable to the prescribed punishment if he steals from a Dhimmi, based on the saying of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him): “They share with us the same rights as well as the same responsibilities.” (Reported by Abu `Ubayd Mu`ammar ibn Al-Muthanna in his book Al-Amwal, published by Dar Al-Fikr).
however, they differed over the issue of alcohol and pork. If a Muslim intentionally spoiled them and they belonged to a Dhimmi, mu`ahid (one who has signed a peace accord with the Muslims) or musta’man (one who sought peaceful asylum in Muslim lands), the Shafi`i and Hanbali jurists said that he will not be asked to provide compensation because if he is not held accountable for it to another Muslim, he should also not be held accountable for it to a non-Muslim. Hanafi jurists opined that what has been destroyed must be repaid because it is wealth and it is precious to its proper owners. The Malikis supported this opinion.
here, it is important to clarify the three categories of non-Muslims:
1. Dhimmi: One of the People of the Book who lives in the Islamic state and is protected by its laws as long as he respects and submits to the public laws in the country in which he lives. It is similar to the right of citizenship in our time.
2. Ahl Al-`Ahd (mu`ahid): one who has signed a pre-determined accord with the Muslims in order to stop the bloodshed between them, whether it is a peace accord or an armistice agreement with the non-Muslims who do not reside in Muslim territories.
3. Musta’man: a disbeliever who has sought peaceful asylum in Muslim lands or a Muslim seeking asylum in non-Muslim territories.The life and wealth of the Dhimmi, Mu`ahid and Musta’man are secured.
Some Hanafi scholars state that if a Muslim entered an abode of war (a non-Muslim territory at war with Muslims) taking asylum, he is not to jeopardize either the lives or the wealth of its inhabitants because he is bound by the accord between them. If he conducts himself otherwise, it is then considered a betrayal, and any act of betrayal is haram (forbidden).
In conclusion, I can say that if the bottle of alcohol stolen from a non-Muslim is still in the possession of the thief, he has to return it to the owner. If he has destroyed it, he must compensate the owner so as to adhere to the Islamic principle of paying what is due to the proper owner. This is the procedure that was followed in Islamic countries in the past and is still respected until the present time, based on the opinion of the Hanafi and Maliki jurists.