There is a strong theological background supporting sports participation in Islam. Despite this background, there is still a gap between the theoretical teachings and actual participation in sports among Muslim students in the universities and the general Muslim community. The religious rationale for encouraging Muslims to participate in sports is based on the broad range of benefits accrued from such participation. The purpose of this study was to find out the level of participation and the influence of Islam on gender participation in sports among Muslim students in Kenyan public universities. The study was a survey. Factors under investigation were: gender as independent variables while level of participation and faith specific factors were the dependent variables. The target population was Muslim students from the public universities. A twelve item questionnaire was constructed on a five - point likert scale and then used to collect data. Stratified random sampling was used to get 252 subjects who filled questionnaires and returned. Statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) was used to analyze data. Descriptive statistics were used to show the level and the influence of Islam on students’ participation in sports. One way ANOVA was used to determine gender difference. Results showed significance difference in gender participation levels. Three out of five general factors affecting Muslim student participation in sports showed significance difference; three out of seven of socio-economic factors tested showed significance difference while three out of the eleven faith-related factors affecting Muslim student participation in sports tested significant. Based on the results and findings of this study, recommendations were suggested to guide in policy formulation and further research.
Key words: Sports, Islam, participation.
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