Madonna is studying the Quran.

The 'Like a Prayer' singer - who practices Kabbalah, a form of Judaism - feels it is important to be familiar with the various religious texts because of her charitable endeavours, such as providing education to underprivileged children across the globe, and has begun reading the Islamic scripture.

She told Harper's Bazaar magazine: ''I am building schools for girls in Islamic countries and studying the Quran. I think it is important to study all the holy books.''

The 55-year-old pop star, whose full name is Madonna Louise Ciccone, was raised in a strict Roman Catholic household, but she is thought to have taken an interest in Kabbalah in 1998 and began learning about the faith - which is considered a form of mysticism - at the Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles.

Madonna has often faced criticism for her practice of Kabbalah - which she studies at the New York centre - and has been accused of flirting with the religion to add to her celebrity status, however, the singer remains dumbfounded by the uproar caused by her interest.

She added: ''You would think that studying the mystical interpretation of the Old Testament and trying to understand the secrets of the universe was a harmless thing to do. I wasn't hurting anybody; just going to class, taking notes in my spiral notebook, contemplating my future. I was actually trying to become a better person.''