SOUTH BEND — Before they open their Qurans, the children in Imam Mohammad Sirajuddin’s after-school study group wash their hands and ask God for protection from Satan. They purify themselves physically and spiritually because the Quran, in the form of a book, is a symbol of God, said Sirajuddin, imam at the Islamic Society of Michiana, 3310 Hepler St. Reading or reciting the Quran “is as close as you can get to God” while still on Earth, he said. “(The Quran) is like Jesus in Christianity,” he said. Its pages contain the instructions for a life leading to heaven; similarly, Jesus and his teachings lead believers to heaven in Christianity, Sirajuddin said. (MORE)


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