Hali was born to Abdus Sobhan and Gultaj Khatun, in Rashidabad; in the Patiya region within the Chittagong district in 1929. He married Rajia Begum.
Hali studied primary school at Rashidabad and high school at Joara Bishwamvar. From an early age, he was inspired by the works of historically remarkable singer-songwriter Askar Ali Pandit, and latterly became influenced by the Maizbhanderi Sufi Singers, such as Moulana Bazlul Karim Kanchanpuri, Moulana Abdul Hadi, and Ramesh Shil. He never formally learned how to sing or play a harmonium, but used to follow their works.
At an early age, Hali achieved 1st position in the audition of Agrabad Radio Station. Since 1963, his songs have regularly been publicized on-air through radio as collected songs because he was not registered. After 7 years, he became a registered singer-lyricist-composer of East Pakistan Radio. It is Hali's profession that, still today being aged over eighty, he has been leading his life as a professional lyricist, composer and singer. His lyrics and compositions can be categorized in socio-cultural and Sufi method, where Socio-Cultural songs are more than one thousand five hundred there Sufi songs also over thousand. Though his family encouraged him to enter other professions, Hali was only interested in music. Once in 1955/56 while singing at Maizbhander Dorbar Sharif, Hali saw huge money over his harmonium, listeners have given out of love, was his first income as an artist. That makes him realize, even by singing a song, one can survive since then took it as of his profession. His first Maizbhanderi Sufi Lyric was: "Will you play How long!/ Will you die not?/ How many has come and gone/ Were they belongs to!" . Nowadays, he is a regular Lyricist and composer for Television and Radio Channels of Bangladesh.
The documentary Methopother Gaan has developed representing his works and thought. Film maker Shaybal Chawdhury created this 39-minute-long documentary representing Hali as an ideal rural artist. Famous contemporary singers like Sam Suntor Boisnob, Safali Gosh, Kallani Ghosh, Abdul Mannan Rana, Salim Nizami and many others re-performed his songs in that documentary.
Abdul Gafur Hali Academy has formed regarding Cultural and Social research. Aside, a Lyrics and Musical notation collection of Maizbhanderi Sufi Songs; named Hali's Ode - The Tie of Melody (Bengali: সুরের বন্ধন/Surer Bandahn) including his 100 Maizbhanderi and Mystical Lyrics/ Songs and another one named, The Root (Bengali: শিকড়/Shikor) including his 100 rural Folk songs has Published by Abdul Gafur Hali Academy and patronized by PHP Group.
Among more than 1,500; some of his most popular Sufi songs are:Dui Kul-er Sultan Vandari (Bengali: দুই কূলের সোলতান ভান্ডারী)
Dekhe jare Maizbhandere (Bengali: দেখে যারে মাইজভাণ্ডারে)
Koto khela janore moula (Bengali: কতো খেলা জানরে মওলা)
Maizbhandere ki dhoon ache (Bengali: মাইজভাণ্ডারে কি ধন আছে)
Cholo jai jiyarote mohsen awliar dorbare (Bengali: চল যাই জিয়ারতে মোহছেন আউলিয়ার দরবারে)
Allahr fokir more Jodi (Bengali: আল্লাহর ফকির মরে যদি)
Meanwhile, over thousand, some popular socio-cultural songs are:Shona bondhu tui amare korli re dewana (Bengali: সোনাবন্ধু তুই আমারে করলি রে দিওয়ানা)
Roshik tel kajla kon Panjabiwala (Bengali: রসিক তেল কাজলা কোন পাঞ্জাবিঅলা)
Bondhu Aar Doardi Jao (Bengali: বন্ধু আঁর দুয়ারদি যঅ)
oi lal kurta wala (Bengali: অই লাল কোর্তা অলা)
Sotho kailla pirit ar (Bengali: ছোডকাইল্লা পীরিত আঁর)
Noo matai noobulai gelire bondhua (Bengali: ন মাতাই ন বোলাই গেলিরে বন্ধুয়া)
Moner-o Bagane- Fotilo folree (Bengali: মনের বাগানে ফুটিল ফুলরে)
Tui jaiba shonadia bondhu, mach dhoribar lai (Bengali: তুঁই যাইবা সোনাদিয়া বন্ধু, মাছ মারিবার লাই)
O sham Rengum noo jaio (Bengali: অ শ্যাম রেঙ্গুম ন যাইও)
Dhol bajer r mic bajer (Bengali: ঢোল বাজের আর মাইক বাজের)
Banu re! o banu! ai jaiumgui Chatga shohrot tuarlai ainnum ki (Bengali: বানুরে অ বানু আঁই যাইয়্যুম গই চাটগাঁ শঅরত তোঁয়ার লাই আইন্নুম কি?)
During the Liberation War of Bangladesh he sang songs to inspire the fighters, such as:
It is impossible to be familiar with you and me / You are Pathan and I am Bengali / Between your country and mine / There is a distance of 2000 miles.
Professor Hans Harder of Heidelberg University, Germany visited different places in Bangladesh including Maizbhander of Chittagong in 1989. The reason how, he meet Abdul Gafur Hali through another popular singer Kolyani Ghosh. Latterly Harder published a research work (treatise) named Ferkute Gafur; Spritht Gafur Means, Dippy gafur Says (Bengali: ডার ফেরুকটে গফুর, স্প্রিখট (পাগলা গফুর, বলে) in 2004. It includes 76 songs of Hali. Hans Harder denoted the songs as, "Mystical songs of East Bengal (Bangladesh) composed by Abdul Gafur Hali". He narrated about Abdul Gafur Hali, "In spite of having any higher degree or designation of any University, Abdul Gafur Hali with his own effort was able to have an extraordinary knowledge".
Aside, an album entitled, Foreign Beloved (Bengali: বন্ধু পরবাসী) produced by Indian Music director Koustob Sen Varat, has dedicated to Abdul Gafur Hali. Producer included Hali's five songs in that music album.
He achieved a number of national and institutional awards. Some of those are:Rahe Bhander Ennoble Award (Bengali: রাহে ভান্ডার এ্যানোবেল এ্যাওয়ার্ড/ রাহে ভান্ডার সম্মাননা পদক) - 2012
Chittagong Association Award/ Chittagong Summit Dhaka (Bengali: চট্টগ্রাম সমিতি পদক) - 2012
Bangladesh Musical Organizations' Association Award (Bengali: বাংলাদেশ সংগীত সংগঠন সমন্বয় পরিষদ) - 2013
Sukhendu Memorial Theater Award (Bengali: সুখেন্দু স্মৃতি নাট্যপদক) - 2013
District Cultural Academy Award (Bengali: জেলা শিল্পকলা একাডেমি সম্মাননা) - 2013
Gafur died on 21 December 2016 at Mount Hospital in Chittagong.