While Finland does not have official Islamic theological seminaries, many informal schools are housed at Muslim congregations' premises. Finnish authorities don't keep tabs on the number of Muslims in the country, but Hämeen-Anttila puts the figure at around 40,000.
The Islamic Center in Helsinki is one of dozens of Muslim congregations in Finland offering education on the Koran. Nineteen year-old Yoonis Ali has been attending the centre’s Koran lessons since he was a child.
"Studying was difficult at first because Arabic is so different from Finnish," explains Ali, who says he first had to master the Arabic alphabet.
Fellow student Mohamed Ahmed, 20, started studying the Koran at age seven.
"Koran studies usually begin at home, with parents teaching their children," says Ahmed who is in nursing school.
According to Ali and Ahmed, the Koran offers guidance in daily life and teaches respect for others. Studies of the Islamic holy book are lifelong and the faithful are expected to be able to recite entire passages.
"Reading it once through isn't enough. In a year's time you will have forgotten most of it. To stay fresh in the mind, reading the Koran must become habitual," the men say.