President Obama's grandmother told a Saudi newspaper that she is praying for the commander in chief to convert to Islam.

"I prayed for my grandson Barack to convert to Islam," said Haja Sarah Omar, 88, of Kenya told Al-Watan in Jeddah.

Omar was in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca along with Obama's uncle Saeed Hussein Obama and four of her grandchildren as guests of King Abdullah, according to Saudi English-language daily the Arab News.

She wouldn't comment on her grandson's policies, but when asked to comment on his chances for a second term, she said, "Allah alone knows, it is a matter of the unknown future."

The son of Obama's maternal aunt, Musa Ismail, who is at Madinah Islamic University in Saudi Arabia and was acting as spokesman for the family party, told the paper that he felt he spiritually belonged to Saudi Arabia.

An August poll by the Pew Research Center found "a substantial and growing number" -- nearly one in five Americans -- saying that Obama is a Muslim. Obama says he is Christian, and 34 percent of poll respondents said they believed he was, while 43 percent responded "don't know."

"There is a mechanism and a network of misinformation that in a new media era can get churned out there constantly," Obama told NBC in August in response to the poll.

"I will always put my money on the American people and I'm not going to be worrying too much about whatever rumors are floating out there," he said. "If I spend all my time chasing after that, then I wouldn't get much done."