Muhammadiyah was founded in Kauman Village, Yogyakarta, on Dzulhijjah 8, 1330 in Islamic calendar or November 18, 1912 by a man named Muhammad Darwis, who is at a later time known as KHA Dahlan.
He used to be a royal servant in Yogyakarya Sultanate Royal Palace in charge of being a preacher, and he also worked as a trader. Seeing a rigid, obstinate condition of Muslims at that moment full of mystical rituals, he was touched to urge people to go back to real Islamic teachings based on Al Qur’an and Hadist (the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad). Therefore, at the breaks of his activity as a preacher and trader, he taught religious teachings at home.
Initially, people declined his teaching; however, owing to his patience and resilience, his family and close friends gradually accepted it. His trading occupation truly supported his urging, so in a short time his teachings went beyond Kauman Village, reaching outside the region and even Java Island. To organize his activities, he founded Muhammadiyah organization that nowadays exists nationwide.
Apart from giving lessons/knowledge to men, KHA Dahlan also taught women in a study forum called “Sidratul Muntaha”. At daybreak, he taught male and female children, and he taught grown-ups at night.
KHA Dahlan led Muhammadiyah from 1912 to 1922, the period still using organizational yearly meeting system. On the 11th meeting, Muhammadiyah was under KH Ibrahim’s chairmanship until 1934. In 1926, annual meeting changed to yearly congress that at a later time changed to every-3-year congress. Today, Muhammadiyah congress is held every 5 year.