The Islamic Golden Age is seen as the pinnacle of Muslim excellence. Often looked at for advances from math and science to philosophy and art, this legacy of excellence is one many regard wistfully as a representation of a better time for Muslims.
The traditions and legacies of Islamic excellence are undeniable, and yet we overlook the remarkable work being done by Muslims within our communities today. The narrative has unfortunately been lost, and yet the work continues. This niche is precisely where the MAX Gala stands out.
The Muslim Awards for Excellence is a concept that’s been years in the making, growing ultimately into the idea of an awards gala profiling the excellence within our communities. The gala brings an element of recognition through nominations, applications, and of course the awards themselves.
Rua Wani of the MAX team explains that, “ . . . the committee got to see and hear of such amazing people within the community.” Nationwide, MAX received over 370 applications and nominations, ranging from students to professionals. These awards cover a wide spectrum of achievement, including emerging businesses ventures and high school students alike.
Wani aptly summarizes the complete picture made by the diversity in talent as, “holistic brilliance gathered in one room”. This diversity is compounded by the lack of delineations concerning Muslim identities, contributing to the community-oriented unity the event aimed to foster.
March 24th, 2016 marked the first annual MAX Gala, with the promise of many returns in future years the come. However, anyone following the event knows their success was far from surprising, with the Ritz-Carlton venue sold out weeks in advance and hundreds more on the waiting list for tickets. This forum for celebrating Muslim excellence has obviously resonated, even garnering support from local, provincial, and federal levels of Canadian government.
The fledgeling organization has definitely made a mark within the community, and has no doubt actualized its vision to provide a stunning platform to recognize excellence within the Muslim community. A shift from the common reactionary narratives concerning Muslim communities, MAX has drawn the gaze back to where it rightfully belongs: our continuing legacies of excellence.