Rabat Tarim is an educational institution teaching Islamic and Arabic sciences. In 1886, a group of Tarimi notables decided to build a religious institution for foreign and domestic students in Tarim, and accommodate foreign students. Those notables were Mohammed bin Salem Assri, Ahmed bin Omar al-Shatri, Abdul-Qader bin Ahmed al-Haddad, Ahmed bin Abdul-Rahman al-Junēd and Mohammed bin Omar Arfan.Rubat Tarim was inaugurated on October 2, 1887.
Supervision was ascribed to the mufti of Hadhramaut, Abdul-Rahman Bin Mohammed Al-Meshhūr. Early teachers in Rubat Tarim were Alwi bin Abdul-Rahman bin Abibakr al-Meshhūr, Hussein bin Mohammed al-Kaf, Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Bekri al-Khateeb, Hassan bin Alwi bin Shihab, Abu Bakr bin Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Bekri al-Khatīb and Mohammed bin Ahmed al-Khatīb. They were delegated to teach when Abdullah bin Omar al-Shatri was appointed upon returning from Mecca, where he had studied for four years.
Al-Shatri taught at Rubat Tarim voluntarily until his death in 1942. He was succeeded by his sons (Mohammed, Abu Bakr, Hasan and Salem). In 1979, Rubat Tarim was closed by the PDRY. It reopened after the unification of Yemen in 1991 and continues to function.
According to statistics from 2007, the number of scholars graduating from Rubat Tarim has reached over 13,000. Foreign students currently total about 300, with 1,500 Yemeni students.
Many graduates later traveled abroad to propagate Islam and establish religious institutions. Several became authors and publishers in the Tradition, Interpretation of Quran and other branches of religious knowledge. The most famous scholar among them was probably Abdul Rahman Al-Mash’hūr.
The eastern section of Tarim offers the Dar al-Mustafa for traditional Islamic teaching in Arabic and its satellite campus for intensive Arabic linguistics study at the Badr Language Institute. Shaykh Habib Umar bin Hafiz manages the school and is a renowned Islamic spiritual leader. Dar al-Mustafa has emerged as an important center of Islamic learning.
In 2007, there were some 250 students from various counties studying at Dar al-Mustafa. East Tarim has continued to grow as a result of Dar al-Mustafa’s popularity and an influx of students and spiritual leaders relocating to the region with their families.
Another famous institute is the Abu-Muraim Institutes for Quran Memorization, which was established in the sixth century of Hijra. Every year, Dar al-Mustafa organizes summer courses for 40 days during July-Augustknown as the Dowra.
Dar al-Zahra is a sister institute of Dar al-Mustafa which offers education for Muslim women.