Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah (Sultan Abdullah I) was the grandson of the 18th Sultan of Perak, Sultan Ahmaddin Shah. He succeeded to the throne upon the demise of his cousin, Sultan Shahabuddin Riayat Shah, in 1851.
During his reign, he was involved in a civil war with Raja Muda Ngah Jaafar, following which Sultan Abdullah I fled his palace in Durian Sebatang and sought refuge in exile at the residence of Datuk Laksamana Tok Janggut.
With Sultan Abdullah I in exile, Raja Ngah Jaafar was made the de facto Sultan of Perak by influential Malay chiefs who sided against Sultan Abdullah in 1853. E.A. Blundell, the British Governor of the Straits Settlements, was informed of this matter by Raja Ngah Jaafar, which in turn was later relayed to the British presence in India. Raja Lop Yusuf, the eldest son of Sultan Abdullah I, tried to persuade the Malay chiefs to continue their support for his father but failed. Sultan Abdullah I wrote to Blundell about the turmoil in Perak on 23 November 1855, as well as to seek assistance from the British. Nonetheless, the request was declined with the reason that the British had promised not interfere in the internal affairs of Perak.
On 8 November 1856, Raja Ngah Jaafar, being the de facto Sultan, awarded another letter to continue to Long Jaafar’s control of the Larut district which was rich in tin. In the same year, Raja Ngah Jaafar was proclaimed the new Sultan of Perak.
A year later, in 1857, Sultan Abdullah I mangkat and was interred in Kampung Terengganu, Teluk Intan. The posthumous title Marhum Itikadullah was conferred subsequently. However, Almarhum was better known as Marhum Durian Sebatang.
Sultan Abdullah I was married to Raja Sharifah Ngah Aminah binti Raja Alang Rawin and was blessed with three sons, Raja Lop Yusuf, Raja Sulaiman and Raja Pandak Abdul Rahman.
Raja Muda Ngah Jaafar bin Raja Kecil Tengah Ahmad ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Malik Mansur Shah was later the 23rd Sultan of Perak (1857-1865).
Edmund Augustus Blundell was the Governor of the Straits Settlements from 1855 to 1859. He was previously Resident Councillor of Melaka (1847-1849) and Penang (1849-1855).
 Raja Lop Yusuf ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdullah I was later 27th Sultan of Perak (1886-1887)
 On 6 November 1850, Raja Bendahara Ngah Ali ibni Almarhum Sultan Shahabuddin Shah, in his capacity as his father’s representative, awarded the Larut District to Long Jaafar. Apparently, the acknowledgement letter was signed by him and other State chiefs without Sultan Abdullah’s consent. Raja Bendahara Ngah Ali was later the 24th Sultan of Perak (1865-1871).