Imam W. Deen Mohammad
QUESTION: Can an Imam be an authority over a masjid and never lead the prayer or do Jumah?
— Pittsburgh, Pa.
IMAM: No, because one of the first qualifications of the Imam is that he be able to lead prayers and do Junah.
QUESTION: What is the religious significance of Muslims not being cremated?
— Rome. New York
IMAM: It's simply because it is not the tradition of Prophet Muhammad. It was not the established way of caring for our dead in the times of Prophet Muhammad. There is no justification for it in Quran either, So, we follow Prophet Muhammad, and what he did. He led the Muslims to bury the persons as they died. You have to be buried as you die.
So if you were burnt, then that is different. But to cremate someone, or to take parts of their body away and give them to science and research, in my opinion, would not be following the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad.
QUESTION: Is it Islamic to have pictures of humans either in the family or more noted personalities displayed in the Muslim household? If not, can you explain why?
IMAM: Muslims all over the world do that. They have pictures of their relatives in their homes.
When the motion picture camera and the motion picture industry came on the scene, many people, many Muslims and Christians too. I understand, rejected this as a sinful thing. But later Christians and many Muslims accepted it. So we go into Muslims' homes now and it is just common to see family photos or dear relatives somewhere in the house. I don't think we should take the matter too seriously, or become fanatical about that.
Prophet Muhammad, we understand (peace be unto him) did not accept to have portraits made of himself and his followers. His first followers did not do it either. I think there is harm in it but I don't care to make an issue out of it now, because too many Muslims have it, and I think that there are many more serious things that we should be talking about.