Haji Rasul was born in Sungai Batang, Maninjau, West Sumatra on February 10, 1879. His father was Muslim ulema, Syekh Muhammad Amarullah Tuanku Kisai and his mother Andung Tarawas. In 1894, he went to Mecca, studying Islamic law under Shaikh Ahmad Khatib. After he graduated, he taught Islam in Mecca until 1906. Upon his return to the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), he founded an Islamic organization known as Muhammadiyah in West Sumatra. In 1915, Haji Rasul founded Sumatera Thawalib in Padang Panjang. Thawalib was an Islamic school that produced many progressive students. He died in Jakarta before independence day on June 2, 1945.