In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
“The invitation of two people who compete each other should neither be accepted nor should their food be eaten”.
Al-Allaamah Zayd Bin Haadi Al-Mad’khali [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “If invitation to eat food is done for boasting, self-importance and show off, do not respond to the invitation. Competition related food is to boast about its abundance and perfect preparation- everyone wants to give more than the other. Whoever competes in (providing) food and its preparation – each one of them invites others to come along and eat his food, then do not accept their invitation because they have not done so sincerely for the sake of Allaah due to the competition and boating in the affair. And this is something impermissible”. [At-taleeqaat Al-Maleehah Alaa Silsilah al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1. Page 396]
Sufyaan Bin Uyaynah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Indeed, I become angry with myself when I see you come to me, and I say to myself that these people have not come to me, except due to the good thoughts they have about me”. [Hilyatul Awliyaa: 7/285]
Ibn Wahb [may Allaah have mercy upon him] narrated that he heard Maalik [may Allaah have mercy upon him] saying, “When a man praises himself, his magnificence leaves him”. [Taareekhul Islaam: 11/328]
Allaah Knows All The Secrets Whether We Reveal or Conceal
وَأَسِرُّوا قَوْلَكُمْ أَوِ اجْهَرُوا بِهِ ۖ إِنَّهُ عَلِيمٌ بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ
أَلَا يَعْلَمُ مَنْ خَلَقَ وَهُوَ اللَّطِيفُ الْخَبِيرُ
And whether you keep your talk secret or disclose it, verily, He is the All-Knower of what is in the breasts (of men). Should not He Who has created know? And He is the Most Kind and Courteous (to His slaves) All-Aware (of everything). [67:13-14]
Imaam Ibnul Qayyim [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: This is from the highest degree of affirmation, because it has to be that the Creator knows His creatures. Therefore, if you affirm that indeed He is your Creator and the Creator of your hearts and what they contain, then how can (anything) be hidden from Him when (it is the fact) that He created them?! And the statement [بِذَاتِ الصُّدُورِ – what is in the breasts (of men)] includes what the hearts contain of beliefs, intents, love and hate. [Badaa’i At-Tafseer Al-Jaami Limaa Fassarahu Al-Imaam Ibnul Qayyim 3/ 173]
Imaam Al-Bukhaari [rahimahullaah] said, “Chapter: Avoiding the Use of Tricks. And everybody will get the reward according to his intention”. Narrated Umar Ibn al-Khattaab [radiyallaahu-anhu]: The Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said, ‘’The reward of deeds depends upon the intentions, and every person will get the reward according to what he intended. So, whoever emigrates for Allaah and His Messenger, then his emigration will be for Allaah and His Messenger, and whoever emigrates to take a worldly benefit or for a woman to marry, then his emigration will be for what he emigrated for”. [Saheeh Al-Bukhaari Number 6953]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: There is no place for trickery in Ibaadaat [i.e. acts of worship] nor in Mu’aamalaat [i.e. mutual dealings]. Therefore, it is obligatory to approach [or carry out] affairs through their appropriate paths [i.e. carrying out deeds without tricks or ulterior motives]. [Source: Ab Excerpt from Al-Hulalul Ibreeziyyah Min Ta’leeqaat Al-Baaziyyah Alaa Saheeh Al-Bukhaari’ 4/353. footnote 1. slightly paraphrased]