Imam Musa ibn Ja’far (a.s.) said:
فَضْلُ الْفَقِيهِ عَلَى الْعابِدِ كَفَضْلِ الشَّمسِ عَلَى الْكَواكِبِ
The excellence of a scholar over a votary is similar to excellence of sun over the stars.1
The stars in the sky are themselves luminous but fail to provide luminosity to the Earth and to illuminate the path for us.
Sunlight and its bright and shiny rays, on the other hand, revive and energize the Earth and also light up the path for all inhabitants of planets in the solar system . The sun thus enables others to distinguish the right path from the deviant one, the high road from crag. And it is this that distinguishes a scholar from a devotee. The latter is concerned only with saving himself whereas the former tries to also save others from drowning.
Just as planets need sunlight, votaries need a scholar.