MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, MALANG – MUHAMMADIYAH.OR.ID, MALANG – General Soedirman was officially appointed as the Father of the Muhammadiyah Scout movement, Hizbul Wathan (HW), during the opening ceremony of the 4th HW National Congress (Muktamar) at the Dome of Universitas Muhammadiyah Malang (UMM) on Thursday, July 27.
General Secretary of Muhammadiyah Abdul Mu’ti read the decree of Hizbul Wathan Central Quarter on the appointment.
“Bismillahirahmanirrahim (In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful), with the blessings and mercy of Allah, we appoint General Soedirman as the Father of Hizbul Wathan. May he become a role model for all members of Hizbul Wathan,” declared Mu’ti in the congress, raising the theme ‘Empowering Resources, Cultivating Scholarly Leaders.’
Prior to pursuing a military career and rising to the rank of General, Soedirman was an active member of the Hizbul Wathan. Despite his strong military identity, he had a humanistic and religious spirit and a genuine concern for education and youth development.
According to historian Sadirman from Universitas Negeri Yogyakarta (UNY), Soedirman led Hizbul Wathan (HW) with three main programs for its members: spiritual education, physical training, and community service. Additionally, HW under his leadership also organized activities like football, standen (a pyramid acrobatic formation), and military exercises.
Soedirman’s engagement with the Hizbul Wathan profoundly shaped his sense of patriotism and nationalism, which was further reinforced through his active role in PETA (Indonesian Army during the Japanese occupation).
Soedirman’s education within Muhammadiyah, mainly through the Hizbul Wathan, strongly influenced his unwavering patriotism and anti-colonial stance. During his involvement with Muhammadiyah, he developed a profound love for the organization.
Indeed, amid the Japanese occupation, Soedirman’s devotion to Muhammadiyah was evident when he saved the organization’s educational institution in Cilacap. There was a resemblance between Soedirman’s problem-solving approach to Muhammadiyah’s educational challenges and the renowned educator Ki Hajar Dewantara.
Besides, General Soedirman actively engaged in community cooperative development and frequently visited Yogyakarta for this purpose. These visits allowed him to meet with prominent figures of Muhammadiyah in Kauman, Yogyakarta, and enrich his understanding and experiences.