“Abu Ja’far (as) has said, ‘Islam is based on five issues. It is based on prayer, charity (al-Zakat), Hajj, Fasting and al-Wilayah.’ Zurara has said, ‘I then asked the Imam, “Which of these is more important than the others?’” The Imam said, ‘Al-Wilayah is more important. It is the key to the others. The person who possesses Divine Authority is the guide to the other principles.’ I then asked, ‘Which is the next important?’ The Imam said, ‘Thereafter is prayer. The Messenger of Allah has said, “Prayer is the pillar of your religion.”’ I then asked, ‘Which is the next important among them?’ The Imam said, ‘Al-Zakat is the one thereafter. Allah has mentioned it next to prayer but He has mentioned prayer first. The Messenger of Allah has said, “Al-Zakat removes sins.”’ I then asked, ‘Which one is important thereafter?’ The Imam said, ‘Hajj is important thereafter. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, has said, “It is a duty of the people to Allah to perform Hajj of the House if they are capable to do so. Whoever rejects it should know that Allah does not need anyone in the world.” (3:97) The messenger of Allah has said, “Performing Hajj that is accepted is more virtuous than twenty Rak’at optional prayer. Whoever walks around the House seven times and performs the two Rak’at prayers thereafter properly Allah will grant him cover.” He (The Messenger of Allah) did say on the ninth of the month of Dil Hajj and on the tenth of the month of Dil Hajj in Muzdalifa (a place in Makka), what he wanted to say.’ I then asked, ‘Which one is important thereafter?’ The Imam said, ‘It is fasting.’
“I then asked, ‘Why is fasting the last of all in importance?’ The Imam said, ‘The Messenger of Allah has said, “Fasting is a shield against the fire.”’ The narrator has said that the Imam said, ‘The best of all things is that for which, if you miss, you do not find an alternative except going back to achieve it. Prayer, al-Wilayah and Hajj are not of matters replaceable with their own kind. On the other hand if fasting is missed on a journey one has the choice to fast on other days as remedy, or compensate for the sin with expiation and no fasting is necessary as a remedy. In the cases of the other four issues there is no alternative for them.’ The narrator has said that the Imam then said, ‘The topmost, the peak of the issue, the key and the door to it and the pleasure of the Beneficent (Lord) is to obey the Imam properly after knowing him clearly. Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy, says, “Whoever obeys the Messenger he has obeyed Allah and whoever turns away from such obedience then you should know that We have not sent you to guard them.” (4:80)
‘Without recognizing the Divine Authority of the Imam, the deputy of Allah, no one has the right to receive any reward from Allah, the Most Majestic, the Most Holy. This is true even though in his lifetime he may stand up in worship the whole night, fast during the day, give all his belongings in charity and perform Hajj every year. So also it is if he does not acknowledge the Divine Authority of his Imam with which all of one’s deeds can take place with the guidance of the Imam. Without al-Wilayah, one is not considered of the people of belief.’ Thereafter the Imam said, ‘Allah will admit, those of them who do good deeds into paradise through His extra mercy.’”

Sanad: Ali ibn Ibrahim has narrated from his father and ‘Abd Allah ibn al-Salt all of them from Hammad ibn ’Isa from Hariz ibn ‘Abd Allah from Zurara who has said the above hadith

Source: al-Kafi, Volume 2, Chapter 13, Hadith #5

Grading: Allaamah al-Majlisi said it is Sahih/Authentic (صحيح) [Mir’at al-Uqool, Volume 7, Page 102 (See Second Image below)]




Order of importance are as follows:
1. Wilayah: It is the keys to the other deeds and no deeds are accepted without recognition of the Imam or your time
2. Prayer: It is the pillar of your religion
3. al-Zakat: It is always mentioned besides Prayers
4. Hajj: Obligatory only if capable, but is irreplaceable as a deed
5. Fasting: A protection from the fire – but last on the list as it can be made up on later days unlike others (such as when sick or traveling)