Abd Allah was the son of Hanzala ibn Abi ‘Amir, a sahaba (companion) of the Nabi Pakصلى-الله-عليه-و-آله-وسلم who had been Shaheed at the Battle of Uhud in 625. Abd Allah was born after his father’s death. According to historian Julius Wellhausen, he was “celebrated from his birth as the posthumous son of the martyr of Uhud who was washed by the angels”. Hence, he became known as “Ibn al-Ghasīl” after his father’s nickname “al-Ghasīl al-Malāʾika” (the one washed by the angels).
When Yazid I succeeded his father Muawiya I as caliph, the move was opposed by the Ansar. The latter were the early supporters of Nabi Pakصلى-الله-عليه-و-آله-وسلم from Medina and this group had included Abd Allah”s father. Abd Allah himself was part of a delegation from Medina sent by the Umayyad governor of the city, Uthman ibn Muhammad ibn Abi Sufyan, to reconcile with Yazid in the Umayyad capital Damascus. Despite the warm reception, the delegation left Damascus with the conviction that Yazid was unfit to be caliph.Abd Allah was the most vocal in his criticism and was chosen by the Ansar to be their leader.Meanwhile, the Quraysh of Medina, who also opposed Yazid, chose Abd Allah ibn Muti as the leader of their faction.
Together, the Ansar and Quraysh drove out the Umayyads from Medina, prompting Yazid to dispatch an army led by Muslim ibn Uqba to bring the city into submission. The army, composed of the Arab tribesmen of Syria, took up strategic positions in the Harrah just east of Medina where they were met the Ansar led by Abd Allah.During the ensuing battle, the faction of Medina was defeated and Abd Allah was Shaheed. According to historians Ch. Pellat and K. V. Zettersteen, Abd Allah had fought with “remarkable bravery … but finally fell under the blows of the Syrians”. Eight of his sons were also Martyr. His body was subsequently decapitated and his head was given to Ibn Uqba. The two soldiers credited with his death were rewarded by Yazid