Ashura (Arabic: عاشوراء ) marks the day that Shi'a Muslims believe Husayn, the grandson of Muhammad, was martyred. For Sunni Muslims, it marks the day that Moses was saved from the Pharaoh's tyranny.
Ashurah is the tenth day of the Islamic month of Muharram. "Ashurah" is the most sacred day according to the Prophet Muhammad's companion Ibn 'Abbas (quoted in Abu Dawud). When the Prophet Muhammad migrated to Madinah, he found that the Jews of Madinah fasted on the tenth day of Muharram. The Jews believed the Prophet Musa (Moses), and his followers crossed the Red Sea and the Pharaoh was drowned in its waters on this day. Upon hearing this from the Jews, Muhammad, said, "We are more closely related to Musa than you" and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashura.
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Ashura References and Related Sitesourtruereligion.blogspot.com: The True Religion Abu Dawud, Book of Hadith