second: when Mahdi's birth is proved, there remains no alternative but to accept one of the following two affairs:
we either accept that Mahdi (a.s.) is alive and continues to live like all other human-beings until the time when Allah shall command him to emerge or on the basis of what is in wont, believe that he has died and Allah by his power shall make him alive at the appointed time. however there is not the slightest doubt that the first affair is more closer to natural wont and principles of nature than the second affair which is far from natural wont. for this reason, the action of prophets turning the death alive was considered to be a miracle and not longevity.
third: the tradition which has been unanimously accepted by both sunnis and shias contains the following contents: the caliphs (after the holy prophet (s.a.w.a.) and the imams of the muslims - so long as this religion continues - are twelve in number. after it has been proved that Mahdi is the twelfth amongst them, it becomes indispensable to believe that he is alive and living. otherwise what necessarily follows is this that there will remain no imam amongst the muslims in this era and their death will be similar to the death of those people living during the period of ignorance.
fourth: traditions which speak of Mahdi's occultation and indicate the manner in which people derive benefit from his existence clearly shows that Mahdi is an alive entity who is being given sustenance and is living like other human-beings. some of those traditions state that Mahdi is 'muntazar' (expected one) during the period of his occultation while some others specify that the period of Mahdi's occultation will be the same as the period of his age. moreover some traditions say: blessed is the one who during the period of occultation of hazrat Mahdi is steadfast in his words about his imamat. besides these, there are yet other sayings which proves hazrat's life and continuity till the day of his emergence.
rather, it is possible to say that the very word of 'ghaibat' (occultation) about Mahdi and his title of 'gha'eb' (hidden one) are itself a clear testimony of his living because, the words '--' (occultation) and '--' (hidden one) have been placed vis-a-vis the words '--' (appearance) and '--' (appeared one) and do not correspond the words '--' (death) and '--' (dead one) and or the sentence 'soon he shall be born' just as ibn-abil hadeed has mentioned.
fifth: specification of some of the great sunni scholars about continuity of Mahdi's existence.
amongst them we may mention the name of shaikh mohyiddin arabi in his book 'fotouhat' as per what has been narrated by shaikh abdul wahab sh'arani in his book 'al-yawaqit-wal-jawahar' (just as we had narrated the same from the book 'es'aaf-ur-rhagebeen') who specifies this point that Mahdi is the immediate son of hassan askari and the fact that imam hassan askari departed this world in the year 260 a.h. however what is incidental to these two points and explicit admittance of Mahdi's existence and his continued life till the time of his emergence or an admittance of his existence and demise and then Allah making him alive (once again). it does not appear that shaikh moyiddin arabi was having the second possibility in mind.
amongst them is shaikh abu abdullah, muhammad-ibn-yusuf-ibn-muhammad ganji who in his book 'bayan-fi-akhbar-saheb-uz-zaman' (just as what the author of es'aaf-ur-rhagebeen has narrated on page 227) says:
'one of the points which proves that Mahdi is alive and still living after going into occultation and the fact that his continuity is not an impossibility is the very existence of hazrat isa-ibn-maryam and hazrat ilyas who are amongst the friends of Allah and the existence of dajjal and the sinful satan who are amongst the enemies of Allah. the existence of these personalities has been substantiated by quran and prophetic traditions.
amongst them is the learned and mystic shaikh khawja muhammad parsa who in his book 'fasl-ul khetab' (just as the author of 'yanabi-ul-muwadda' has narrated on page 451) after mentioning the birth of Mahdi says: 'Allah bestowed wisdom upon Mahdi in his infancy just as he did so in the case of hazrat yahya and isa.'