The 34-year-old, who won one Test cap against South Africa at Headingley in 2003 and 14 in one-day internationals, played for Worcestershire, Hampshire and Lancashire.
Kabir was released at the end of last season by Lancashire, having injured his shoulder in their NatWest T20 Blast semi-final victory over Hampshire at Edgbaston.
He subsequently underwent surgery. But after hearing he will need a second operation, he has called time on his professional career.
“I underwent major surgery and did all the rehab – but come Christmas time, when I tried to bowl, I struggled to get any pace,” he said.
“Doctors have suggested that I need further surgery, and that is a one-year rehab process, and then there is no guarantee on me playing.
“On that basis it would be unfair for me to push myself to other counties … this is a sad day because for the last 16 years all I have done is play cricket, whether it’s in England or overseas.”
Kabir, a cousin of current England all-rounder Moeen Ali, took 500 first-class wickets and also made 2,755 runs.