He, or Khalid, made his sign indicating his prophecy to be after he departed for his Lord, so he let his sign perish, since he did not manifest it during Iris’s lifetime, and he let his people perish also, for he did not show it to them, so they let him perish. Therefore the Prophet said to Khalid’s daughter, “Welcome to the daughter of a prophet whose people let him perish!” And it was only his sons who let him perish since they did not let the people who were believers open his grave because of the shame which befalls the Arabs resulting from their customs pertaining to the zeal of the “Age of Ignorance” (before Islam).
Khalid’s story is as follows: he dwelt with his people in Aden. A great fire came out of a cave and destroyed the farms and flocks, so his people sought refuge with him. Khalid began to beat the fire with his staff until it retreated before him back into the cave. Then he said to his sons, “I shall enter the cave after the fire and extinguish it.” And he ordered them to call him after three full days, for if they were to call him before that, he would come out and die. But if they waited three full days, he would come out healthy. So when he entered, they waited two days. Then Satan filled them with unrest and they did not wait the full three days but thought that he had died. So they called him, and he came out of the cave with a wound on his head that had been produced by their call. So he said, “You have caused me to perish, and you have let my words and instructions perish.”
Then he told them that he would die and ordered them to bury him and watch over his grave for forty days, for a flock of sheep would come to them led by a donkey whose tail had been cut off. So when the donkey stopped before his grave, they should open it and he would rise up and tell them about the states of the Isthmus with certainty and having observed them. So they waited forty days, and the flock came led by the bob-tailed donkey. It stopped before his grave, and the believers among his people made as if to open it. But his sons refused to let them in fear of disgrace and lest they be called “the sons of him whose grave was opened.” So it was the pagan ignorance of the Arabs which prompted them in this manner, and they caused his instructions to perish and let him perish.