Zayn Malik's five-year-old cousin dies from brain tumour

Zayn Malik attends a pre-Grammys event in Los Angeles on Feb 11, 2017.
Zayn Malik attends a pre-Grammys event in Los Angeles on Feb 11, 2017.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON - The five-year-old cousin of former One Direction singer Zayn Malik has died after a battle with a brain tumour.

Arshiya Malik is thought to have died during the early hours of Tuesday morning (March 28) and was said to have been battling the tumour for the past few years. Zayn Malik's family often took to social media to ask fans for their prayers.

The Malik family paid tribute to their "beautiful princess" on their social media pages on Tuesday. Arshiya's mother Zileh Malik posted a picture of her daughter on Instagram with the caption: "An angel wrote in the book of life my baby's date of birth, then whispered as she closed the book. 'Too beautiful for earth' R.I.P baby doll."

Zayn Malik's girlfriend Gigi Hadid wrote: "Rest in peace my angel such a strong and beautiful soul, all my love and strength to the malik family x #RIPArshiya"

Back in August 2014, the family were united in prayer for the youngster as she battled the disease. At the time, Zayn Malik's cousin Aaroosa wrote online: “Please can everyone pray for Arshiya as much as you can as her MRI scan didn’t come out good.

“Doctors are saying there's nothing they can do, and have put her on life support machines now. Please keep her in your duas always and the rest is up to Allah.”

Zayn Malik has yet to comment on the news of his cousin’s death.

Support for Arshiya and the family poured in on Twitter, with fans starting the hashtag #RIPArshiya.

One wrote: “Rest In Peace,little angel #RIPArshiya” 

Another said: “Sending all of my love and prayers to the Malik family at this time. Heaven has gained another beautiful angel. #RIPArshiya."