Arabian Journal for Science and Engineering

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 5205–5214 | Cite as

Semantic Q&A System on the Qur’an

  • Aimad Hakkoum
  • Said Raghay
Research Article - Computer Engineering and Computer Science


The Qur’an is considered the first source of knowledge and guidance for Muslims throughout the world. It is hard to understand and interpret without consulting domain experts and specialized Qur’anic books. Therefore we believe that a system based on simple questions written in Arabic and capable of retrieving answers from the Qur’an would be of a great interest to all those who want to study the Qur’an. In recent years, a number of researches have been conducted to facilitate the retrieval of knowledge from the Qur’an; however, most of the available researches are based on keyword search and do not rely on semantics. Building a semantic-based system has a number of challenges such as the lack of resources for the Arabic language and the difficulty to model the content of the Qur’an by fear of altering its right meaning. In this paper, we introduce a semantic-based search engine for the Qur’an, it is based on creating an ontology that represents the Qur’an knowledge in Web Ontology Language format, and a natural language interface that transforms user queries expressed in Arabic into SPARQL queries and then retrieves answers from the ontology.


Qur’an Ontology Knowledge extraction Semantic search 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Mangold C.: A survey and classification of semantic search approaches. Int. J. Metadata Semant. Ontol. 2(1), 23–34 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Ezzeldin, A.; Shaheen, M.: A survey of Arabic question answering: Challenges, tasks, approaches, tools, and future trends. In: Proceedings of The 13th International Arab Conference on Information Technology (ACIT 2012). (2012)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Singh, J.; Sharan, A. Dr.: A comparative study between keyword and semantic based search engines. In: International Conference on Cloud, Big Data and Trust. (2013)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gruber T.R.: Toward principles for the design of ontologies used for knowledge sharing?. Int. J. Human-Comput. Stud. 43(5), 907–928 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Shadbolt N., Hall W., Berners-Lee T.: The semantic web revisited. IEEE Intell. Syst. 21(3), 96–101 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Damljanovic, D.: Natural Language Interfaces to Ontologies: usability and performance (Transfer report) (2008)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Saad, S.; Salim, N.; Zainal, H.: Towards context-sensitive domain of Islamic knowledge ontology extraction. Int. J. Infonomics 3(1), 197–206 (2010)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Khan H.U., Ullah H. et al.: Ontology based semantic search in Holy Quran. Int. J. Future Comput. Commun. 2(6), 570 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Sharef, N.M. et al.: Semantic question answering of umrah pilgrims to enable self-guided education. In 13th International Conference on Intelligent Systems Design and Applications (ISDA), IEEE (2013)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sherif M.A., Ngonga Ngomo A.-C.: Semantic Quran. Semant. Web 6(4), 339–345 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Dukes, K.: Statistical parsing by machine learning from a classical Arabic treebank. arXiv:1510.07193 (2015)
  12. 12.
    Yauri A.R. et al.: Quranic verses extraction base on concepts using OWL-DL ontology. Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol. 6(23), 4492–4498 (2013)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kalaivani S., Duraiswamy K.: Comparison of question answering systems based on ontology and semantic web in different environment. J. Comput. Sci. 8(9), 1407 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Kaufmann E., Bernstein A.: How useful are natural language interfaces to the semantic web for casual end-users?. Springer, Berlin (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Kaufmann, E.; Bernstein, A.; Fischer, L.: NLP-Reduce: A “naıve” but Domain-independent Natural Language Interface for Querying Ontologies. Zurich: ESWC (2007)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kaufmann, E.; Bernstein, A.; Zumstein, R.: Querix: a natural language interface to query ontologies based on clarification dialogs. In: 5th International Semantic Web Conference (ISWC 2006) (2006)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Bernstein, A.; Kaufmann, E.; Kaiser, C.: Querying the semantic web with Ginseng: a guided input natural language search engine. In: 15th Workshop on Information Technologies and Systems, Las Vegas, NV (2005)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Cimiano, P.; Haase, P.; Heizmann, J.: Porting natural language interfaces between domains: an experimental user study with the orakel system. In: Proceedings of the 12th International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces. ACM (2007)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Wang, C. et al.: Panto: a portable natural language interface to ontologies. The Semantic Web: Research and Applications. pp. 473–487. Springer, Berlin (2007)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Damljanovic, D.; Agatonovic, M.; Cunningham, H.: FREyA: an interactive way of querying Linked Data using natural language. In: The Semantic Web: ESWC 2011 Workshops. Springer, Berlin (2011)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    AlAgha, I.; Abu-Taha, A.: AR2SPARQL: an arabic natural language interface for the semantic web. Int. J. Comput. Appl. 125(6), 19–27 (2015)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Khoja, S.: APT: Arabic part-of-speech tagger. In: Proceedings of the Student Workshop at NAACL (2001)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Al-Kabi M.N. et al.: A novel root based Arabic stemmer. J. King Saud Univ. Comput. Inf. Sci. 27(2), 94–103 (2015)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Abouenour L., Bouzoubaa K., Rosso P.: On the evaluation and improvement of Arabic WordNet coverage and usability. Lang. Resour. Eval. 47(3), 891–917 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Stegmaier, F. et al.: Evaluation of current RDF database solutions. In: Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop on Semantic Multimedia Database Technologies (SeMuDaTe), 4th International Conference on Semantics And Digital Media Technologies (SAMT) (2009)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© King Fahd University of Petroleum & Minerals 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of MathematicsCady Ayyad UniversityMarrakeshMorocco

Personalised recommendations