Manama: Bahrain's religious authorities have stepped up their crackdown on overly powerful loudspeakers in mosques, saying that they should not be used for anything other than the traditional Muslim call to prayer.

The Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs on Saturday, the first day of Ramadan, told imams to make the initial call to prayer over loudspeakers outside the mosque, but to use only the internal speaker system to continue the ritual.

The five daily calls to prayer are a central part of life for Muslims.

However, some imams turn on the public sound system to broadcast sermons, religious talks and recitations of the Quran purportedly to enable those who cannot go to the mosque to listen to them from their homes.

But, the Ministry said that blaring speakers broadcasting prayers and sermons can be heard over long distances, smothering calls of other mosques and disturbing people.

Shaikh Salman Bin Eisa Al Khalifa, the head of the Sunni Endowments, said: "I urge all people who wish to complain about blaring broadcasts to contact our offices so that we can take action."

Ahmad Hussain, the head of the Ja'afari (Shiite) Endowments in Bahrain, said that he had not received, four days into Ramadan, any complaints about the loud sound systems.