Rafati grew up as a child of Persian parents in part on in Germany and partly in Iran. He graduated in Hanover, where he still lives today, an apprenticeship as a bank clerk. Since 1997, Babak Rafati DFB referee whistled for and SpVgg Lower Doehren. Since 2000, he led the Second Games and since 2005 also of the First Bundesliga. He made his debut in the match 1.FC Cologne against 1 FSV Mainz 05 on August 6, 2005. Rafati conducted a total of 84 Bundesliga matches and 102 second-division games.
In 2008 he succeeded as one of the German FIFA referee Markus Merk on. International he conducted two 'A' matches and six games in the European Cup competitions. In September 2011, the DFB announced that Rafati from 2012 - would no longer be on the FIFA list of referees - as Peter Sippel. Successor on the list were Marco Fritz and Felix Zwayer. The DFB justified this step as necessary age-related restructuring. Previously Rafati had been elected to six-monthly surveys of the trade magazine Kicker of the Bundesliga professionals four times for " worst Bundesliga referee ".
On November 19, 2011, scheduled for this day Bundesliga match between 1 FC Köln and 1 FSV Mainz 05 was canceled after the certain for the lead of the game Rafati was not published in time in the stadium. The reason for this according to the police was a suicide attempt; the assistants had Rafati found in his Cologne hotel and can provide first aid before emergency help arrives. The trigger for the attempted suicide Rafati was from depression. He went therefore in therapeutic treatment. On May 24, 2012 Rafati, who has led no other football game more, announced his immediate resignation.