Mahershala Ali is the first Muslim actor ever to win an Oscar
Mahershala Ali scooped Best Supporting Actor for Moonlight (Picture: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images)

Mahershala Ali may have scooped the first major award of the Oscars 2017, but it was also the first acting win for a Muslim in the prestigious events’ history.

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The 43-year-old actor has been earning plaudits everywhere for his stunning turn as drug dealer Juan in Moonlight, and now he’s made Academy Award history with his win for Best Supporting Actor.

Ali became the first Muslim to win an acting Oscar in a highly competitive category – going against Jeff Bridges, Lucas Hedges, Dev Patel and Michael Shannon.

Taking to the stage to accept the award, Ali said: ‘It’s not about you, it’s about these characters. You are a servant. You’re in service to these stories.’

Along with director Barry Jenkins, Ali also thanked his wife, Amatus Sami-Karim who gave birth to their first child a mere four days ago.

It wasn’t the only record Ali helped secure either, with Viola Davis’ Best Supporting Actress win for Fences making it the first time since 2007 more than one black actor has won a competitive Academy Award on the same night.

No Merchandising. Editorial Use Only. No Book Cover UsagenMandatory Credit: Photo by David Bornfriend/REX/Shutterstock (7734188a)nAlex R. Hibbert, Mahershala Alin'Moonlight' Film - 2016nn
Mahershala Ali plays Juan in Moonlight (Picture: REX/Shutterstock)

The actor’s win follows a stint of award scoops this year, with Ali also picking up a Golden Globe, SAG and Critic’s Choice award for the role.

It was a pretty spectacular night in general for Moonlight, which managed to beat La La Land to Best Picture – with a few hiccups, obviously.

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