A'salaamu alaikum ya'll. I hope somebody understood the pop culture reference of my title: the beat of Yeah OPP, yeah you know me" popped into my head when I was thinking of a title.
Many of you may be confused as to what a "UCB" is, exactly. That's ok, apparently they are confused as well!!! ;-) UCB is the initials of a term I coined with my best friend. We've all met them before (although we might not have known it!) There is even a female counter-part to this elusive animal and they are called UCSs.
No clue? That's alright, I'll "out" them for you. UCB refers to UnderCover Brothas and obviously, UCA is for the sistahs. I'll write out a couple of scenarios to describe this phenomenon a little better.
1. You are at the mall and a man walks past. Your spidey-sense screams (silently) "There's a Muslim nearby!" (In the west, where any muslim sighting often remains rare, it is indeed a moment for spidey-sense tingles.) He could be any other man at the mall for all you know by looking at him. So what makes him a UCB?
Well the fact that every week you've seen said bro sportin' a thobe/kameez/(insert your cultural dress here) and kufi combo and salaaming left, right and center. Masha'Allah to the brother for his dedication to show up at the masjid and sticking to his roots.
However, when you in your happiness to see another muslim, throw a sisterly "A'salaamu alaikum" his way, he walks past as if it never happened. At quite a faster clip than before, btw.
Say whaaaaaaa? :-D OK onto scenario #2.
2. A very nice woman steps onto the elevator. She has the Muslim ethnic look but you can't tell by that. No hijab but most telling, no salaam. Hmm ok no problem. After riding 3 floors in silence, she looks at you (in khimar and abaya) and asks, "Are you Muslim?". Hmmmm no I just like to dress fancy. :-)) I nod my assent and smile.
So masha'Allah sister says, "Oh I'm Muslim too". No salaam, just that quick mention. You say, "Oh masha'Allah". The doors open and another person gets on. Sister quickly looks away and conversation ends.
You travel 3 more floors together.
BTW, the spelling of "awkward" is awkward. Nice when words showcase themselves.
Alrighty... onto #3.
3. You've been seeing a particular physician for a year and a half. During this time, you always appear in front of him covered and several "insha'Allah" or "alhamdulillahs" have probably slid through your lips. He is from the sub-continent, you know that much from the one time you tried to talk to him about something other than white blood cell counts and allograft survival.
BTW, despite wearing clothing that is very identifiable as that which Muslims wear and speaking of your family (all of whom have Muslim names) never a word is breath about being a "muslim". :-) OK no problem, your physicians don't have to be Muslim.
Then...after a year and a half, you come down the stairs from Jumah and see him. Yes, your Dr. Standing there after salaat, chatting away with several other brothers, waiting for his wife to finish her sunnah prayers.
He turns around, sees you, and looks visibly surprised. It's like, "Hey buddy, I've never hid I'm a Muslim, don't look so surprised to see ME here". LOL
You give him salaams which he returns and you go on your way.
OK I guess by the time I got to that last scenario you probably had figured out all of those things happened to me. Those and many, many more. :-) I think one of my personal "say what"s is the very nice doctor who treated me in the ER.
She had a typical Arab name and was absolutely gorgeous. Long dark blond hair, flawless make-up, penciled in eyebrows... no hijab, a low-cut shirt. Hmmm OK so I think to myself, wellll her name is an Arab name but maybe her family is Christian or something. So I say nothing except hello.
After about 5 minutes she says, "Are you Muslim?" I swear I get this more from Muslims than non-Muslims!!! Which already confuses me but whatever. I answer in the affirmative and she says, "Oh I am too but I don't practice".
I never know WHAT to say. This has happened to me more than once. What do you say?
"Oh well, I do". lol
"Then what exactly makes you Muslim?"
Sorry if ya'll find that judgemental but that's just the truth about what runs through my head. It's awkward :-) and I just end up standing there and saying "Oh."
This obviously isn't based on scientific research;-). I'm just stating my observations, based on REAL LIFE events.
Like the cockroach said, "whatevs". LOL
It's a crazy world, ya'll.