I (the narrator) was with Abu Ja’far (as), so I said: May I be sacrificed for you (as), O son of Rasool Allah (s)! (What about) the man who has fasted during the day and stood (praying salat) during the night, and gave charity but he did not recognize the Wilayah?
Abu Ja’far (as) smiled and said: O Sabit! I (as) am the best of the remaining (matters) upon the back of the earth. Even if a servant did not cease to prostrate between Al-Rukn (of the Kabah) and Al-Maqaam (standing place of Ibrahim), until he separates from the world, not having recognized our (as) Wilayah, that would not benefit him (with) anything.
[Tafseer Abu Hamza Al Sumaly – H 46]
Wilayah means guardianship – the protection of Ahlulbayt (as). They (as) can only protect you if you listen to them (as), obey them (as) and act on their (as) teachings. Unfortunately, most of the people who claim to be Shias are Shias only in namesake. They have never read the hadith and never tried to access the teachings of Ahlulbayt (as) directly. They follow a religion taught to them by the clergy system (mullahs, mujtahids) and are far removed from the original and pure deen as taught by the Ahlulbayt (as). Due to their straying, their religion is filled with corruption and biddat.