As Africans, it is considered part of our custom to consult with mallams, babalawos, dibias, and herbalists who also double as fortune tellers/soothsayers/(false)prophets. Once we consult these people, we commit shirk as this act is pure idolatry. Indeed, the Rasul (SAW) had forbade us from visiting them.
Palmistry, crystal ball gazers, horoscopes, or any form of fortune-telling is not acceptable in Islam. Why? Here is how it works:
A jinn or devil hears a snippet of information from the heavens by eavesdropping; then reveals it to these charlatans who dilute it with many lies and tell your ‘fortunes’ for a fee.
Aisha (R.A.) narrated: Some people asked the Prophet (SAW) regarding the soothsayers. He said, “They are nothing.” They said, “O Allah’s Messenger, some of their speeches come true!” The Prophet (SAW) said, “That word which happens to be true is what a Jinn snatches away stealthily (from Heaven) and pours it in the ears of his friend (the fortune teller) with a sound like the cackling of a hen. The soothsayer then mixes with that word, one hundred lies.” – Sahih Al-Bukhari 7561
Why would we want to taint our lives and very existence by dealing with such people? Then perform an exercise in futility with our prayer when we have set up rivals with Allah. We should endeavour to avoid these shady people under whatever guise they come in and guide our faith fiercely.
Abu Hurairah (R.A.) narrated that: The Prophet (SAW) said: “Whoever engages in sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, or a woman in her anus, consults a soothsayer, then he has disbelieved in what was revealed to Muhammad.” – Jamia Tirmidhi 135 (graded Hasan)
A true servant of Allah (SWT) will not claim to possess knowledge solely attributable to Allah. We, as humans, should know our limits. However, if an error in judgement is made and such people are consulted, disbelieve in their prophecy and repent to Allah. The knowledge of the unseen is solely with Him.