Zarabi joins from French side Gueugnon and can play at centre-back but is primed to fill David Murphy's boots at left back.
"I actually signed his younger brother, Kheireddine, who is a centre-half or right back, for TPS in Finland," Hibs boss Mixu Paatelainen revealed. "Then I was made aware of 'Abdel' and I was interested in him straight away but for financial reasons I couldn't sign him for TPS. When David Murphy left here for Birmingham I felt he would be the right replacement."
Nish, a life-long Hibs fan, has already scored twice against the Easter Road side this season but won't have the opportunity to open his account in Sunday's cup-tie having played â€“ and scored â€“ in Kilmarnock's Scottish Cup victory over Airdrie on Monday night.
It was in this game that Paatelainen became convinced of the player's worth.
"I hadn't seen him for a few years and wanted to see him play," said Paatelainen. "He was a name that was put straight to me when I came in but I couldn't decide because I wanted to see the player. I knew he was a tall centre-forward who scores goals but after seeing him I decided he is a player who can hopefully help us. I don't want to make blind signings."
Hibs, however, proved unwilling to increase an offer made to Malmo for Johansson. The bid, believed to be in the region of £150,000, was dismissed as too low by the Swedish club.