Question answering systems retrieve information from documents in response to queries. Most of the questions are who- and what-type questions that deal with named entities. A less common and more challenging question to deal with is the why -question. In this paper, we introduce Lemaza (Arabic for why), a system for automatically answering why -questions for Arabic texts. The system is composed of four main components that make use of the Rhetorical Structure Theory. To evaluate Lemaza, we prepared a set of why -question–answer pairs whose answer can be found in a corpus that we compiled out of Open Source Arabic Corpora. Lemaza performed best when the stop-words were not removed. The performance measure was 72.7%, 79.2% and 78.7% for recall, precision and c@1, respectively.