Influence of islam on sports participation among muslim students in Kenya public universities
Kweyu, Issah Wabuyabo
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Islam means submission and peace (Quraishy, 1987). There is a strong theological background supporting sports in Islam (Qur' an, 16:8). However, this is on condition that it is lawful and does not hamper other religious obligations (Qur'an 2: 219, 5: 91-92). Conclusive studies validate significant benefits of participating in physical activities. Exercise has been used in prevention and management of coronary heart disease, hypertension, blood lipids and lipoprotein profile, cardiac function, bone mineral status, smoking risks, body composition and weight control, blood glucose regulation, musculoskeletal disorders, stress management and mental health among others. Despite this, there is still a gap between the theory and practice regarding participation in sports among Muslim students in Kenyan universities. The purpose of this study was to find out what causes the low Muslim students' participation in sports and in which ways Islam influences their participation in sports. The study adopted a survey design. This enabled the researcher to cover a wide area and acquire as much information as possible. This also enabled the researcher get the information about the situation as it is. Factors under investigation were gender as an independent variable while participation and level of performance were the dependent variables. The target population was 920 from the six public universities in Kenya. Under the guidance of the supervisors, a questionnaire was constructed on a five - point likert scale and then used to acquire information. Random sampling was used to select 252 out of the target population of 920. Descriptive statistics were used to describe students' participation levels in sport. ANOVA was used to determine gender differences. Results showed significant differences in gender participation levels. Three out of five general factors (lack of information, facilities not convenient and lack of skills/friends with skills in the sport) affecting Muslim student' participation in sports showed significant difference at 0.047, 0.000 and 0.010 respectively. The following socio-economic factors showed significant difference (sport not for my gender and sport making me develop muscles) at 0.001 and 0.000 respectively. Three faith-related factors (participating is Sunnah, sports uniform conflict Islam dress code and audience of opposite gender) affecting Muslim student' participation in sports were found to significantly influence their participation at 0.027, 0.012 and 0.004 respectively. Based on the findings of this study the following recommendations were suggested to guide in policy formulation. Games teachers and coaches should be designed to fit various participants without infringement on their faith by having programmes that do not segregate on basis of faith. Department in charge of sports and games in institutions like the universities and teacher colleges should expand awareness of benefits of participating in physical activities among the Muslim society so as to change the generalized misconceptions held about participation in Physical activities. Institutions need to expand sports facilities to help attract and encourage both male and female students to participate in physical activities.