His full name was Sheik Al-Amin bin Ali Abdallah al Mazrui from the Mazrui family.
This was the family which had been given the guardianship of Mombasa town after the expulsion of the Portuguese by the Sultan of Oman since they originated from Oman.
His grand father, Abdallah al- Mazrui was an Islamic scholar belonging to the Shafi School of law.
He was born in Mombasa 1891 on 15th Jamadu-Thani 1380 A.H/27th January 189.
His father passed away when he was four years old and thus his paternal Uncle Sheikh Suleiman bin Ali-Mazrui took the responsibility of raising him who later married him off to his own daughter.
He died on 1st April 1947 having left behind three children, among them two sons (Harith Al-Amin Al-Mazrui-former Liwali of Lamu and Professor Ali Mazrui-Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology) and a daughter.
He started his elementary education under his Uncle Sheikh Suleiman bin Ali who was a great scholar of that time and had studied various branches of knowledge.
This branches included; Quran, Arabic language, Fiqh among others.
His great thirst for knowledge made him travel to Zanzibar to further his education under the eminent scholars of Zanzibar like Sheikh Abdallah Mohammad bin Salim Bakathir and Sayyid Ahmed Bin Abu Bakar bin Sumeyt.
He later went to Lamu and graduated from Riyadh mosque under the supervision of re-known scholars of that time.
He was a brilliant student and outstanding in all the subjects and he used to emerge top of the class.
He was able to bring reforms in some of the Islamic scholarly works across the world.
Among the Muslim scholars who greatly influenced him are the following:
After completing the first phase of Islamic traditional education at Masjid Barza,Sheikh al-Farsy joined the first government school in Zanzibar at the age of ten;the Central Primary School of Zanzibar.
He was so dedicated to attaining religious and secular education and he made use of both the afternoons and evenings to study.
He was always seen engrossed in any new Islamic book and spent most times in his home library reading.
Zanzibar had retained some of the centuries old Islamic educational institutions.
He therefore learnt from intellectual scholars like Sheikh Abubakar bin Abdullah Bakathir, Sheikh Ahmed bin Muhammad Al- Mlomry who taught him twenty five books and Sheikh Sayyid Alawy bin Abdul Wahab who taught him twelve books on Fiqh and Arabic.
He then went to Kenya to seek more knowledge where he studied tafsir under Sheikh Al Amin bin Ali.
He also studied Risalatul Jamiaat, a book on basic principles of Fiqh from Sayyid Hamid Maasab.
While he was in the secular school, he always emerged ahead of the other students in every subject.
His excellence led him to completing eight year primary education in five years. He then joined a Teachers’ Training college from which he graduated in 1932.
He became a primary school teacher between 1932 and 1947 and, following a series of promotions for his good work, he was appointed the Inspector General of primary schools in Zanzibar and Pemba between 1949 and 1952.
He later became the principal of Muslim Academy between 1952 and 1956, before being appointed the head teacher of the Arabic Medium School.
In 1960, he went to perform Hajj after which he left the ministry of education in 1967 and became a teacher at the Teacher’s Training college.
In 1960, he was appointed the chief Kadhi of Zanzibar, a post he held for seven years.
It was after the bloody CRUSADE incident in the name of Zanzibar Revolution in 1964 that he migrated to Kenya.
He was hosted by Sheikh Muhammad Kassim Al-Mazrui his former class mate in the class of Al-Amin Ali Mazrui.
Since his reputation as a scholar had reached far including Kenya, Sheikh Muhammad Kassim Al-Mazrui recommended him to the late Jomo Kenyatta for the post of Chief Kadhi of Kenya.
He accepted the appointment and served for fourteen years until his retirement in 1980.
In addition to teaching and preaching, he was a prolific writer.
He used mwongozo wa Zanzibari to translate the Qur’an and answer questions from the masses.
He wrote the biography of the prophet and that of Imam Shaffi.
He also wrote a Kiswahili translation of the Qur’an in order to counter the translation of Dr. David Living Stone and Fr.Godfrey Dale of the University Mission to Central Africa (U.M.C.A) church of Zanzibar who had written a very shallow translation that was used by the preachers to defend Christianity.
This Quran translation was also to clarify the misconception of the Qadianis who preached of the coming of another Prophet after Muhammad by the name Mirza Gulam Ahmad from Qadiani village in India.
Sheikh Abdullah Swaleh al Farsy passed on (died) on 9th November, 1982, just eight months after he had left Kenya to join his family in Muscat, Oman.