The Timing of The Mahdi’s Reign
While there is more than one tradition regarding the nature and timing of the Mahdi’s ascendancy to power, there is one particular hadith that places this event at the time of a final peace agreement between the Arabs and the Romans (“Romans” should be interpreted as referring to Christians, or more generally, the West). Although this peace agreement is made with the “Romans”, it is said to be mediated specifically through a Jew from the priestly lineage of Aaron. The peace agreement will be made for a period of seven years.
Rasulullah [Muhammad] said: “There will be four peace agreements between you and the Romans [Christians]. The fourth agreement will be mediated through a person who will be from the progeny of Hadrat Haroon [Honorable Aaron – Moses’ brother] and will be upheld for seven years. (Emphasis mine) 28
It appears that the period of this seven year peace agreement will likewise be the period of the Mahdi’s reign. While there are a few traditions that specify that the Mahdi will reign on the earth for as much as eight or possibly even nine years, most traditions state that the time of his reign will be seven years.
The Prophet said… He will divide the property, and will govern the people by the Sunnah of their Prophet and establish Islam on Earth. He will remain seven years, then die, and the Muslims will pray over him. (Emphasis mine) 29
The Prophet said: The Mahdi… will fill the earth with equity and justice as it was filled with oppression and tyranny, and he will rule for seven years. (Emphasis mine) 30