04 April 2003, 13:03
Al-Varrak, Yusuf ibn Ibrahim ibn Nasr al-Khafiz Abu-l-Kasim al-Babi (died between 1098 and 1104), an expert in khadises, spiritual leader of the Shafi'its' community in Bab al-abvab (Derbent), imam of the mosque in the neighborhood (makhalla) of Khims. Descendant of Syrian immigrants. Lived in Baghdad for a long time, traveled extensively.
Al-Varrak was the author of the earliest theological work in the Northern Caucasus, which manuscript has been maintained until today - Sharkh ash-Shikhab. The composition's manuscript is listed among the least researched ones, since it was attributed only recently. Sharkh ash-Shikhab is a commentary on Kitab ash-shikhab, the collection of khadises. Al-Varrak also wrote a commentary on I'lam as-sunan fi-sharkh Sakhikh al-Buhari by Abu Sulayman al-Busti (died in 998). Al-Varrak also received a right (idjaza) for transmitting the khadisan works by his Derbent Sheikh Abu Iskhak Ibrahim ibn Faris al-Babi (died in second half of the 11th century) a.k.a. Ibn Faris; the latter, in his turn, had received this right from Abu Mu'ammar al-Mufaddal al-Isma'ili (died in 1040), ra'is of Djurdan and grandson of Shfi'it Abu Bakr Akhmad al-Isma'ili (died in 982).
The most well-known of al-Varrak's followers was Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Musa ad-Darbandi (died in the first half of 12th century), the author of one of the earliest Sufi works in the Caucasus - Raykhan al-khaka'ik va-bustan ad-daka'ik. As follows from this composition, al-Varrak was an adherent of Sufi ideas.
Al-Varrak is buried in the cemetery next to the Derbent citadel.