What is permissible for a man to see from his fiancee?

Q 1: Which parts of the body of a fiancée that her fiancé may look at? I heard many religious scholars limit it to the face and hands. However, I read in Al-Nur Magazine, issued in Egypt by a political party, that a fiancé may look at his fiancée's legs up to knees. I hope that you will send us the sound opinion on the issue. Is it permissible for a fiancé to watch the would-be fiancée while she is walking on her way? Is a Companion authentically reported to have done so?

A: Scholars are unanimous that it is permissible for one who wants to propose to marry a certain woman to look at her face seeking no desire or enjoyment but not staying in seclusion with her. It is judged to be permissible as both of them need this as it is likely that they will live with each other life long. In fact, it is enough to look at the face as all the beautiful aspects can be seen through it. However, some scholars view it is permissible to look at the hands as well as other parts of the body often shown that may motivate a person to go ahead with the marriage. It is also permissible for a fiancé to watch his fiancée while going her way (Part No. 18; Page No. 76) to see things that might motivate him to consummate marriage. It is related by Abu Dawud on the authority of Jabir ibn `Abdullah that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "If one of you proposes marriage to a woman, if he can look at her to see that which will encourage him to go ahead and marry her, then let him do so." Jabir said, "I proposed marriage to a young woman, and I used to hide where I could see her, until I saw that which encouraged me to go ahead and marry her, so I did so." Moreover, it is reported on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said, A man proposed to marry a woman of the Ansar. Thereupon Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Did you cast a glance at her?" He said, "No." He said, "Go and cast a glance at her, for there is something in the eyes of the Ansar." (Related by Ahmad and Abu Dawud) May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.