My child! As in the same way that you are greatly indebted to your parents, we are obligated to the Holy Prophet (S.) and to our other religious pioneers and leaders. Our Holy Prophet (S) founded the religion of Islam. Imam ‘Ali (as) and other Imams strengthened its foundation as far as they possibly could propagate it, and struggled diligently for the betterment of Islam and the Muslims. They took great pains in strengthening and protecting Islam's roots against dangerous and cataclysmic events throughout their lives.
These true leaders have always had people’s interest in mind and have issued instructions for people to follow in order to achieve complete happiness in life. Through their divine influence on masses, they were able to attract their unshakeable loyalty. The later were even willing to sacrifice their own lives for the Imams.
Through following their philosophy, one can learn about perseverance, faith, strong belief, struggling for the cause of liberty, self-sacrifice, serving others, suppressing injustice, assisting the oppressed and finally bout love for human beings. My child! The entire world pays homage to the excellent thoughts and firm institutions of our religious leaders.
Of course, to be fair to our religious leaders is to put their words of guidance into practice, and to model our actions after their actions. If we could sincerely implement their guidelines our society will become the most dynamic, prosperous community of mankind. Simply, knowing their noble characters and greeting and remembering them with honour, is not enough.
I say so, because I know of people who speak of their love and respect for our Imams and utter excellent salutations after upon hearing their names and even in some instances, will rise in their honour, but when it comes to act according to their instructions, it is something else. They forget all about them.
In my opinion these sort of people simply deceive themselves, and feel happy that they are the followers of the Holy Prophet (S.), Imam ‘Ali (as), and other religious leaders. Because their acts and deed do not reflect any traces from these exalted leaders. Certainly, the Prophet and innocent Imams are unhappy with these type of people. As Islam is a practical religion, only those who adhere to and practice according to its principles, will benefit from Islam.