SANCTUARY. The Prophet forbade putting a murderer to death in a mosque, but he may be taken by force from the mosque and slain outside the building. The same rule applies to persons guilty of theft. (Mishkat, book iv. ch. viii.)
The custom of sanctuary was derived from the Levitical law of refuge. The six cities being established as cities of refuge for the involuntary manslayer. – The altar of burnt offerings was also a place of refuge for those who bad undesignedly committed smaller offences. (Deut. xix,. 11,. 12; Joshua xx.) According to Leeky (Europian Morals, vol, ii. p. 42), the right of sanctuary was possessed. by the imperial statues and by the Pagan temples. Bingham (Antiquities, vol. ii. p. 554) says it seems to have been introduced into the Christian Church by Constantine.
Based on Hughes, Dictionary of Islam