In accordance with the Qur'an, Allama Iqbal said in various poems:
TAN-E BAY ROOH SAY BAYZAAR HAI HAQQ
KHUDAA-E ZINDA ZINDON KA KHUDA HAI
[God abhors bodies without a soul - The Living God is the God of the living]
It is difficult for me to agree with elaborate forms of disposing of a dead body. A tremendous amount of cloth, wood, coffins, the time and labor that goes along with it plus the high costs incurred do not make sense to me.
Disposal of a dead body should be honorable but simple. There is honor in simplicity. The exalted Prophet and his noble companions, male or female, were simply buried in the clothes they were wearing at the time of death and their bodies were never transported to far off places. No carpentry or paintings etc.
People die of drowning in ponds and seas, in plane crashes, at Himalayan heights, avalanches, get eaten by hunting carnivores, swallowed by fish, corpses eaten by vultures, etc.
I have seen human bodies decomposing and decomposed in the hot deserts of Saudi Arabia. The Saudis used to leave the stinking bodies alone to finally intermingle with dust.
Think of mass graves in Kashmir and elsewhere.
In mass killings, bodies often become unrecognizable.
Pres. Gen Zia ul Haq of Pakistan died of a plane crash at Bahawalpur in 1988. Only a couple of his teeth were retrieved from the ashes. However, with all 'stately' protocol, those teeth were flown to Islamabad where his so-called 'tomb' rests today.
Parsis (Zoroastrian 'fire-worshippers') routinely lay their dead on a high TOWER OF SILENCE to be consumed by vultures and eagles. Being the resident doctor of Parsi General Hospital, Karachi, I have witnessed that kind of farewell many times in 1969-70.
I see nothing in the Qur'an against cremation. Interestingly, there is a Hadith in Bukhari that Allah forgave a man for his statutory will for cremation - "So much did he fear the wrath of God!"
The elaborate burials with all the rites and customs of today seem redundant to me. What is death? Transfer of the NAFS (soul) to a higher stratum.